Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Special Education

First Advisor

Charlotte A. Hubbard

Department Affiliation

Special Education

Second Advisor

Tamara B. Cranfill

Department Affiliation

Special Education

Third Advisor

Shirley O'Brien

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy


ASHA (1991c) identifies the value of consultation and collaboration across disciplines in the public school setting. Historically, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have pulled children out of the classroom to provide therapy in individual or small group settings. However, evidence continues to show the merit of consulting and collaborating with other professionals in the school in order to fully integrate classroom curriculum and support service goals (ASHA, 1991c; ASHA, 2010f; Mecrow, Beckwith, & Klee, 2010; Ritzman, Sanger, & Coufal, 2006). The purpose of this study was to explore SLPs' perspectives and use of consultation and collaboration in the public schools. A survey was distributed across the United States through email lists and social media to public school based SLPs. Definitions were provided for four different service delivery models as examined on a spectrum moving from "pull-out" (monodisciplinary) towards complete collaboration and sharing of responsibility (transdisciplinary).

One hundred and sixteen participated in the survey, with 41 participants completing the survey in its entirety. Data analyses indicated that SLPs identify a difference between consultation and collaboration and primarily use the multidisciplinary service delivery model. However, data revealed that SLPs think the interdisciplinary service delivery model is most effective and would prefer to use either the interdisciplinary service delivery model or the transdisciplinary service delivery model. Factors that impact SLPs selection and use of their current service delivery model included scheduling, professional relationships, and clinical experience. Correlations were found between the presentation of consultation and collaboration in graduate level classes and time spent consulting and collaborating in practice.